Winter can be a tricky time of year, especially once the excitement of the holidays is officially past. The weather is yucky and we feel like we're spending most of the day inside. If you do have the opportunity to get outdoors for a run or a bike ride, getting a sunburn might be the last thing on your mind.
But if you're letting the cold temperatures and overcast weather affect your sun protection routine, now is the time to get back on track! Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the United States, and the most easily preventable. As an outdoor athlete, your sun protection habits matter even more in the winter when sun exposure is less obvious than in the summer months.
So what is it about winter time that creates more risk for sun damage?
Snow & Ice
We think of UV rays coming down from the sky, right? But up to 80% of UV radiation can be reflected off snow and ice, potentially bouncing up from the ground and exposing your skin. So if you think you can skip the sunscreen on your face because you're wearing a hat, think again.
Being at high altitude also increases your risk of sun damage. The closer you are to the sun, the more intense the UV exposure. Skiers, snowboarders, and snow angel enthusiasts should take heed and ensure they are properly protected.
It makes sense that most people don't consider sun protection as much when it's cold and dreary outside. You're already bundled up, do you really need to worry about getting a sunburn? In short, yes! Skin damage caused by exposure to UV rays accumulates over time. It all adds up, even if only your hands and face are unprotected.
Steps to Protect Yourself
- Stay aware of the local UV index
- Wear sun protective clothing (wink, wink)
- Use high-quality sunscreen EVERY DAY (here's a list of our faves)
- Know your risk factors
- Check yourself at home (learn how here) and schedule regular dermatologist appointments
How do you stay sun safe in the winter? Share with us in the comments below!
WHO ARE WE?
TRI SIRENA IS DEDICATED TO PROVIDING PHYSICIAN APPROVED, SUN PROTECTIVE, QUALITY CLOTHING THAT IS BOTH FASHIONABLE AND FUNCTIONAL FOR THE CASUAL ATHLETE, WHILE MEETING THE DEMANDS OF THE MOST RIGOROUS PROFESSIONAL THROUGH INNOVATIVE AND CONTEMPORARY DESIGN. OUR VISION IS TO REDUCE THE SKIN CANCER RISK IN ALL OUTDOOR ATHLETES WHILE HELPING THEM SWIM FASTER, RIDE HARDER, RUN FARTHER, AND LOOK GREAT DOING IT. LEARN MORE HERE!